Top 10 Family Picks: October in the Twin Cities

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Top 10 Family Picks: October in the Twin Cities

October in the Twin Cities bursts with family activities from fall festivals to Halloween happenings. Here are 10 notable fresh picks:

1.  Visit a pumpkin patch

Do you prefer your patches plain or fancy? Are you simply in search of that perfect jack-o-lantern or hankering for a full-on fall festival with all the trimmings? There is a pumpkin patch to suit all tastes here in the Twin Cities. Some of our picks include Wheel Fun Rentals’ patch in Richfield, Pinehaven Farm in Wyoming and Eveland Family Farm out of Anoka. Get all the details in our Twin Cities Guide to Pumpkin Patches.

Top 10 Family Picks: October in the Twin Cities

2.  Shop as a family at a fall Farmers Market – then cook up a cozy dinner together

Get kids inspired to help in the kitchen with a trip to a family-friendly fall market such as Mill City Farmers Market & Midtown Farmers Market (both in Mpls) and Richfield Farmers Market (Veterans Park). The stacks of brightly-colored autumn produce are just begging to be turned into cozy family dinners. Hurry over for the harvest; last call for many of the markets is October 21.

Top 10 Family Picks: October in the Twin Cities

3.  Fall on the Farm | Eidem Homestead, Brooklyn Park

This little treasure of a place is tucked up in Brooklyn Park, not far from the lovely Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park. As it’s a working farm, October means time to put the harvest up for the winter — and you’re invited to help. All ages can get hands on in the field, in the barn and in the farmhouse kitchen. 10/14/17, 12-3pm, $4-$6/pp. For more October events such as this, check our Fall Family Festival Calendar.

Top 10 Family Picks: October in the Twin Cities

If you’ve got some time to spare, take a walk atop the rushing water in Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, explore the visitor’s center, and enjoy the fall colors.

Top 10 Family Picks: October in the Twin Cities

4.  Take in a live show this fall

Give the screen a rest and take the kids instead to see a live performance. The Twin Cities is stocked with opportunities for kids to take in theater and other cultural events. We keep a Performing Arts Plan Ahead Calendar up to date with the latest shows from places like Children’s Theatre Company, Stages in Hopkins, Old Log Theater in Excelsior, and many more. Notable performances in October include The Hobbit, Balloonacy, and Goosebumps, the Musical.

Top 10 Family Picks: October in the Twin Cities

Image courtesy Children’s Theatre Company

No School


5.  Spend a few extra days together over MEA break

We like to think of this long weekend as a blessing – though we understand often it may not feel as such. We recommend a little advance planning to make the most of the time. Our MEA Family Guide lists special MEA hours for museums, pumpkin patches and apple orchards as well as early Halloween events taking place Oct 19-22.

6. See fall colors aboard the Pumpkin Express Train 

Osceola & St Croix Valley Railway bids you all to hop aboard its special Pumpkin Express Train October 20-22. Admire the blazing colors on the bluffs as you chug out to the Dresser Depot for games, live music, hayrides and, of course, that perfect pumpkin (ages 15 & under receive a FREE pumpkin with admission ticket). Tickets sell out quickly for the event; check the calendar here to see what’s still in stock. $5-$25/pp. If you can’t swing those dates, try one of the railway’s weekend fall color train rides.

7. Get in some extra trick-or-treating

And it doesn’t just have to be all about the candy. In fact, my personal favorite places to take the kids for a bonus trick-or-treat session are a number of grocery stores in town. In the past, my kids have left with bags stuffed full of fresh fruit, cheese sticks, pretzels, and other healthier options. Thank you, Kowalski’s Boo Bash,  for that week’s supply of school snacks! For more markets events, check our listings to Trick-or-Treat at Twin Cities Grocery Stores & More.

Top 10 Family Picks: October in the Twin Cities

8.  Solve a corn maze

Personally, I don’t often venture into corn mazes (don’t need the extra stress in my life), but the kids love them. This particular one was ready to take on the challenge on a recent, beautiful fall day at Waldoch Farm in Lino Lakes. The farm & garden center offers an array of fall fun on weekends through the month of October. Included in admission of $10/pp is access to the corn maze, obstacle course, pedal bikes of all sizes, play equipment, a train ride and more. Best for kids ages 8 & under. There is no charge to explore the animals at Joyer Barnyard or take a hayride out into the pumpkin patch. Open daily, 10am-7pm. For more on the corn maze craze try our Top Twin Cities Corn Mazes for Families.

Top 10 Family Picks: October in the Twin Cities

9. Free Ink Day | Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Minneapolis

In the past, the October edition of Free Ink Day has featured a Dia de los Muertos theme. The program is a great way for an interested person of any age to dabble in printmaking without committing to a full class. Parents will need to assist younger kids in carving and making relief prints; older kids will do fine on their own.

Top 10 Family Picks: October in the Twin Cities

10. Have a howlin’ good time on & around Halloween

Little ghouls and goblins, here is surely some sweet news for you: there is no end to the ways to celebrate Halloween in the Twin Cities. Trust us, we’ve been swamped for the past month trying to get a handle on all that is offered: Halloween parties in the parks, pumpkin festivals, trick-or-treat events, costume contests and loads of other ways to have not-so-spooky fun. We’ve tried our best to tame the beast in our seasonal guide HERE:

Top 10 Family Picks: October in the Twin Cities

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About the author

Anne Kingston

If we left it up to Anne to write her own bio, it would never get posted. She doesn’t enjoy talking about herself, but Anne does love exploring the Twin Cities with her family and sharing her finds here. She, her husband and their four kids are lifelong residents of St. Paul.

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